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States quickly will begin rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine. And you have already questions. More than 2,000 of you have already written to us prior to now two weeks. Among what you have requested essentially the most: Will Americans be required to get vaccinated?
“For some, the short answer is yes,” wrote reporter Grace Hauck. But a mandate just isn’t more likely to come from the federal government. “Instead, employers and states may condition return or access to workplaces, schools and colleges upon getting the vaccine and mandate it once the FDA issues full approval, potentially months later.”
President-elect Joe Biden instructed reporters Friday that he wouldn’t mandate vaccines.
“But I would do everything in my power – just like I don’t think masks have to be made mandatory nationwide – I’ll do everything in my power as president of the United States to encourage people to do the right thing,” Biden mentioned.
Arthur Caplan, a professor of bioethics on the New York University Grossman School of Medicine, instructed Hauck: “It’s much more likely that a private organization or company will require you to be vaccinated to get certain access to places.”
Two vaccines are anticipated to ship quickly. Authorization for the vaccine from Pfizer and German startup BioNTech is imminent; the Moderna vaccine goes for authorization subsequent week.
Other prime questions, Hauck mentioned: “Is the vaccine safe? Are there side effects? Will insurance cover it? Does the booster shot have to be from the same manufacturer? Will we get it every year like the flu shot? Many readers also ask questions about whether the vaccine will be safe for people with specific health conditions – anything from heart conditions to soy allergies.”
A vial of the COVID-19 candidate vaccine created by BioNTech and Pfizer is displayed on the headquarters in Puurs, Belgium.
Our well being reporters have already spent this week researching your questions. Here are simply a few of the solutions:
Yes, it’s secure. The approval course of for vaccines is stringent and closely reviewed. The FDA on Tuesday launched a 53-page report summarizing knowledge from Pfizer/BioNTech’s COVID-19 candidate vaccine trial. “The data supports earlier findings that the vaccine is safe and will prevent 95% of people from becoming sick with COVID-19,” wrote affected person security reporter Karen Weintraub.
What are potential unwanted side effects? All three vaccine makers have already reported gentle to reasonable reactions, together with ache at injection website, fatigue and sore muscle groups and joints. Doctors say that is regular.
The vaccine itself might be free, however well being care suppliers can cost a price for administering it, which could be paid for by insurance coverage or a authorities aid fund.
The vaccines require two doses, and so they should be from the identical producer, because the composition and timing of vaccines differ.
It just isn’t identified when you can nonetheless get sick or unfold the virus to others after you have been vaccinated. However, the vaccines are not less than 95% efficient. It’s not identified but how lengthy the vaccination lasts.
The vaccines weren’t examined on kids, so school-age youngsters will not be getting vaccinated at first. But school college students are eligible, and faculties are debating whether or not they are going to, or when they are going to, be required.
Vaccines weren’t examined on pregnant girls, both. So the effectiveness and influence aren’t but identified. “Experts are still debating when vaccines should in general be tested on those who are pregnant,” Hauck reported. “Historically, major vaccines have not been tested during pregnancy because of concerns that both the pregnant person and fetus would be at risk for complications.”
If you have already had COVID-19, consultants nonetheless recommend you get vaccinated, as it isn’t identified if or when you can get reinfected.
Experts will watch carefully for any hostile reactions because the vaccine rolls out. Those vaccinated can obtain smartphone apps that may immediate them to report how they’re feeling. Those first in line additionally might get follow-up texts, emails and cellphone calls. All info might be reported to the CDC. Health methods, as effectively, might be combing medical data for any problematic patterns.
Healthcare staff and long-term care residents are first up for the vaccine. Other particulars might be decided by the place you reside. How do we all know? We researched the vaccine roll-out plans for all 50 states. Here’s what we discovered.
The White House has promised to get the vaccine to all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 5 U.S. territories inside 24 hours of FDA authorization.
Some states are dealing with logistics with their very own staffs; others have already requested National Guard assist. Some publish maps of the place the vaccine is being saved, and others maintain it a secret.
“Who will get the vaccine first is pretty set, generally frontline healthcare workers and people in long-term care facilities,” well being author Elizabeth Weise reported. “But because there won’t be enough vaccine to go around at the beginning, states are divvying up within those groups differently.”
For instance, in Kentucky, two-thirds of the provision will go to residents and staff in long-term care facilities; the remainder goes to staff in hospital COVID-19 models. Hospital chaplains go first in Indiana. Tennessee prioritizes well being care staff 65 and older.
And there’s persevering with confusion over precisely what number of doses every state will get, and when they are going to arrive.
“It really shows how decentralized the U.S. public health system is,” Weise mentioned. “Now we’ll see if that works well, because they know local conditions better than the feds, or if the wheels come off.”
So there’s a lot we all know. Much we’re studying. And then there are the misinformation campaigns. Already.
Margaret Keenan, 90, the primary affected person within the United Kingdom to obtain the Pfizer/BioNtech covid-19 vaccine, speaks with Healthcare assistant Lorraine Hill as she prepares to go away University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire, the day after receiving the primary of two doses of the vaccine, on December 9, 2020 in Coventry, United Kingdom. The UK is the primary nation on this planet to start out vaccinating individuals with the Pfizer/BioNTech jab.A 90-year-old grandmother from the United Kingdom, Margaret Keenan, grew to become the primary individual to get Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine this week. Immediately, social media posts swirled that she was useless, did not exist or was a part of a microchip conspiracy.
Staff writers Jessica Guynn and Aleszu Bajak investigated one false declare that mentioned Keenan was truly a disaster actor and located that inside 24 hours, it had been seen by greater than 475,000 individuals.
This week, Guynn reported, Facebook took down not less than 9 pages that had been funneling thousands and thousands of followers to unfounded claims in regards to the coronavirus, the flu vaccine and different well being points.
She talked to Gabby Brauner, 25, who’s in a twin program finding out to be a medical physician and to get a grasp’s in public well being at Stony Brook University.
“I’ve unfortunately been seeing a lot of vaccine misinformation. It’s really easy to fall prey to, especially with social media,” she mentioned. “An account can seem legitimate but actually be anti-vaxx posting lies, and it is hard to know.”
Brauner has change into an unofficial misinformation first responder, taking it upon herself to reassure those that are apprehensive in regards to the COVID-19 vaccine being secure. Two individuals just lately requested her if the vaccine results in infertility in girls. (It would not.)
“I try to provide information in a gentle way, and I always tell them I’m open to talking about it more,” she mentioned. “I think it’s important to meet people where they are. We have to show that we understand where they’re coming from and not judge them for believing these things.”
I believe that is good recommendation for all of us. Meet individuals the place they’re. Listen to the questions (ask them right here). Research the solutions. Provide details. Share fact.
So far, greater than 2,000 of you have already written to us, trusting us to just do that.
Backstory: Why do individuals deny the seriousness of COVID-19? I requested them. Here’s what they mentioned.
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Nicole Carroll is the editor-in-chief of USA TODAY. Reach her at EIC@usatoday.com or comply with her on Twitter right here. Thank you for supporting our journalism. You can subscribe to our print version, ad-free expertise or digital newspaper duplicate right here.
This article initially appeared on USA TODAY: COVID vaccine: Answering your most-asked questions is essential